Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Now You See It

I'm a delight to have around --

I just don't want to be there.


Spearesques 13

Soak: Prig and deceitful lickspittling mince!

Cheek: Dog-besniffed post-grappler!

Soak: Snoot, thou grommet-tonguing man-toy!

Cheek: Swine-pouncing mother's cuckold pox!

Soak: Phlegm-sipping warted toad's member!

[enter Lord Stratekeep]

Stratekeep: [aside] Hap to thus? [to clowns] Halt jabber, men-fakes!

As idlers, know you not to act your repute?

Halt jaws and let breezes outsound you! Noisers should you not be

Having only wind, and that from wrong orifice.

Playing Doubles

The Siamese twins separated at birth and given to families countries apart.

Reunited years later, thank you for bringing us together again.

The Siamese twins separated at birth and given to families countries apart.

Rediscovering one another through their mutual love for Pad Thai.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009


There should be writing material placed with me in the crypt

-- or even the urn.

Beyond the grave reportage! That would do tribute to print journalism!


Free-Market Magic

The human psyche -- sell it on eBay!

(Or watch the bidding clock run out with no takers)

Sick Call

So popular is his illness

That everything is diagnosed as it.


Spearesques 12

Tremino: Fair, she is. Wouldst not forgo such flower?

Baromo: Fair, yes, true. But such a bloom more natural turns

toward the brightest sun to gain most warmth.

Tremino: Not dim your light, though. Where you shine

Gives good, and where goes sustenance

You feed except through honey from the field?

Baromo: Not mine to quicken with a full day's fire.

Rather I fly sluggish near the sod, plodding at a homely work,

And it's common ancient insects enmass in their amber

Laden with found pollen, an old bee tires

And heavy with over-sweet finds rest in the comb.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


Breezy boughs this morning

Wonder who's falling


Moving Feet, Bobbing Head, Toga

A frivolous wish:

To live life with the joy of a continuing loop of 'Louie-Louie', 3 beers to the wind.

(. . . Uh . . . and 'babes'?)

Nature And Nurture

Hectic hamartia

Harried misuse

Profuse pointlessness

Languorous ambition


The Primal Profession

Ass-kissing is as old as the cave

Even the pioneer Egotist, all alone, knew how to kiss his own


Friday, December 25, 2009

Made In China

New slippers

Shipped from the PRC

My cat sniffs both:

A universe in two teak drawers

Of an herbalist's chest.

Public Money Made Me Think This

Sometimes I dream in 'keyboard'.

Which key is the 'key'?

Is the 'board' a visual symbol aurally punning on the homophonic term 'bored'?

Would it be too raw to suggest 'masturbatory massage' -- in a 'message'? In the finger motions?

And why am I avoiding what it is I am 'keyboarding'? Is the avoidance significant?

Why limit dream investigation to Freudian categories and methodology?

Is there something inherent in language -- or particular structures of Western languages -- that dictate how we think about this?

Should investigation of mental phenomena be restricted only to material explanation -- brain, neural system, physio-chemical interaction -- or is there a way of approaching 'mind' that can either 'parallel' or 'incorporate' (figuratively) the material and explain alternately?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Just The Skin Notices At First

Rae died of an interior cancer at age 39

Jan died of brain cancer at age 39.

Jack Benny, forever '39', died of pancreatic cancer.

Today one older man entered the Post Office with a metal cane.

Another man, not with him, came in with a wooden cane.

Near the bank, a smiling boy passed by, dragging his lame leg.

Long John Silver. Oedipus. Piper Laurie in Rossen's The Hustler.

No science would call this "interesting"

No math man's yield. No pattern.

Nothing more than imagination.

Which raises us above the animals.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Nothin's

She went to bend over him, then he went over her, and in their moments of first embrace, they shared deep lustful secrets.

Hardwood floor
, his stare fixing her in place.

Large walk-in closet, her retort mocking through her teeth.

Stainless steel appliances, his control losing itself in his grunt,

she finally calling out 'His-and-hers' bathroom sinks,

the experience redefining what love means.

Title Pitch For WW II-Theme TV Cooking Shows

1) Noshin' With Stalin

2) Panzer Picnic

3) Il Duce Spaghetti Feed

4) Fast-Food At Der Fuehrer's


The Presents, As They Are Being Wrapped

What rollicking Christmas pleasure have I this day listening to my personally-compiled (jazzy, quirky) Holiday Music Mix! In paroxysms of laughter at my all-thumbs manner of scissoring, shaping, folding, taping, bowing, and handwriting!

Why do these people still want to know me? I ask, continuing, daring any and all comers finally to locate any motor-moron who wraps presents worse than I.

Riotous fun!


Ye Who Are Listening

To the very last breath of me:

Riding it out -- and writing it out.


Top 5 Free-Market Job Opportunities

1) 'Mystery' Bond Bundler

2) Street Mime

3) Onco-Chemo-Therapeutic Psycho-Rhinoplastician

4) Gofer

5) Credit-Line Cancellation Technician


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A First Kensho

When things abruptly shift

Like part of the body misaligned by a sharp move

When the house goes, or the he or she,

Any room at once gets a new look

And old familiar chairs are instantly antique

A trip to the kitchen strewn with the rubble of routine.

What's left when things get quiet, the certainties leave?

The reality of 'you' and what to do with that.


Rule Of Social Regimentation

T Fool articulates what he's been constrained by, all these years:

You live in a house, you gotta say what it says.


A Lady Of Size

Wending around a Starbucks display,

Coming up against a fat girl taking off her coat.

The unfolding wings of a great bird,

That comfortable stretch -- then, upon seeing me,

Seeing herself an obstruction again

An encumbrance on a small world.

Excusing herself. Excusing myself --

In wanting further to say

Don't think anything but you're grand.


Monday, December 21, 2009


Bought a mouse for the cats, a China Mouse.

Rubbed away the lemon scent of Dead Sea salt the Dead Sea Man put on my palms with a spiritual intimacy reminding me of the character Elijah in Moby Dick (there will be a day when ye smell land and there be no land).

Listened to lectures on Middle English in my Japanese car.

Such splatter confuses.

What Would Chaucer do?


'The Baptizer'

Westfield Center, 11:50 a.m., scooting through crowds of shepherded children and 'adults' with Santa caps and reindeer ears and cellphones.

Holding myself straight up, tall -- a simulacrum of Sam Elliott or like Eastwood -- craggy, male, American, a cowboy -- comically with chocolates, analepsized to a plastic modern mall.

A man with a foreign accent interrupts my 'film' and asks if I've ever heard . . . What? (I couldn't hear). The Dead Sea (he says). Yes (I say). The Dead Sea (he says again). I know it (bending toward him).

And I know him from last year, the last time I spent shopping past these store stalls and the vendor carts for stuffed dogs, calendars, sweets, and slippers, cell phone plans, and rings.

He's selling me cosmetics, having put what looks like snowcone ice in my hand and he says now Smell, and I do my best and he says Nothing lives in the Dead Sea, but it brings back life.

And, as I smile and nod and mouth what looks like a (Thank you), back into the jar I overturn my hand the stuff he scooped to rejuvenate my skin and journey far into the wet Seattle day.

The Good (Work) Life

According to best managerial practices, employees having a difficult time continuing in their routine need the following, singled out as 'The Five Golden Therapies':

1) No whining

2) Suck it up

3) Hunker down

4) Gut it out

5) Turn in your I.D.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Material Modality

Trying to sleep on an afternoon with dark cloud

A day before the winter solstice --

A car horn honks impatiently, long and loud --

My body lurches coldly up at the injustice.


Speaking Of Tristan and Isolde

The Robert Greenberg lecture where he relates the anecdote of a 19th Century conductor in the audience of Wagner's Tristan.

Into Act II, he whispers to his friend that by now, if this were an Italian opera, the lovers would have had nine children, but since they're German, they're still discussing things.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wrong Address

Did someone excommunicate me

And I didn't know about it

From what


This One's On Me

It's always good to find a 20 in a wad of ones.

Reinforcing one's faith in currency.


My Hour Now Like His

Unknown, a single Eskimo word (of the putative hoard) for snow.

Ago, I found no thing around the quiet lit carrel

Quiet like that rural canoe-stretch of lost Maine

within the grey, unopened, hard cover copy of Thoreau,

'Mizzle' his Yankee word for the light rain.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Serendipitous Accrual

A penny placed on the footboard of a bed

May there always be wealth where you tread


The Discretionary Position

The woman sat near the woman who sat, sitting next to the woman who sat near her until the woman (sitting next to her) stopped.

Sitting perplexed, dumbfounded at the rising of the sitting woman near her, the woman still sitting, sat until she, too, stopped sitting, let her perplexity rise, too, to quest where the woman who'd sat now sat.

Sit down and let perplexity rise, dumbfoundedness stop, and sitting near to the woman who sat and now sits, sit still until near the woman and next to the woman, quest.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moral Casebook, Case # 1

3 T shirts, each my size, for 30 bucks plus SH and tax.

Same provider, outsourced to another place.

This place sees my size at the small end of the range.

They fit, but they just fit.

Problem: Do I return them with a 'reason' to the provider?

Answer 1, The Rational Economist: By all means return the merchandise, let the provider know how his shipped product can be improved. You get new shirts, they sell better ones, the shirtmakers learn their trade better.

Answer 2, The Humanitarian: Returning the merchandise deters the provider from contracting with the shirtmakers who undersized (just) what you bought. That village of laborers gets bypassed for any future work and suffer commensurately.


Holding Onto The Straw

People keep money real

In order to be stable.

Without it, violence.


Keys To The 20th Century

Weldon Kees.

Kees van Dongen.

Trying to fit the two.

One, a long-lived, successful fauviste and society portraitist, dead at 91 at home in Monte Carlo.

One, one of 'the disappeared', his car at one end of the Golden Gate bridge, his body never found, his poems rough and naturalistic in the 40s/50s loosely noirish, Beatnik way.

Life's still a puzzle.


Know Thyself

Theocratic societies permit no curiosity.

Barbarians -- which is to say, most others -- seek to apply its practicality.

Science sees curiosity as its prime motive, and rewards freewheelingness of search so long as methods hold themselves trim and transparent, any practical results constituting only evidence, not purpose.

So, what to make of science that explores the brain, whose matter and organization so clearly relate to those traits we see distinguishing what's human?

Earlier intellectual examination of humanity speculated more or ideologically buttressed and justified itself. Both, maybe. What science might politely sequester-off as philosophy or, at moments of irritation or memory of persecution, superstition.

To avoid those, science held fast to what was empirical, could be sensed, and worked from there, always verifying from those tangible spots. Reducible to those tangibilities.

Method tended, therefore, to reductivism. That is the bias of science. Not wrong at all, necessarily, as a way of working. But finding firmer truth in what has been reduced most.

Brain science. Highly complex, a relatively new field. Valuable to medicine.

Has found where in the brain the senses 'reside' in order to coordinate perceptions. Has found some of the systemic interconnections among parts of the brain, between hemispheres of the brain, through layers of the brain.

Has speculated. Has speculated whether finding out 'where' higher human functions dwell within and among neural complexes, synaptic series -- whether finding 'where' tells us, simply, the 'just what'.

Consciousness. Morality. Compassion and self-sacrifice.

If we locate the 'substance' from which they operate, have we located 'them'?

Do we commit an 'idealist fallacy' if we see 'evolutionary structure' in such substance whose 'advantage' may allow development of something 'post-physical'?

Science, despite having a theoretical range, would not allow itself to go that far, seeing such a notion as a backward fall into superstition, a stepping too far away from the sensible.


Pontificatory Theory

In life, 'kookie' is cute.

In art, 'kookie' is stupid.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quick Calculation

Anything may be put on a grid -- if you believe in grids.

Anything may be monitored -- if you hold faith in monitoring.

All things either lie in the box or fail to show in the box,

Are 'there' or 'not'. 'Yes', 'no'. Dual.

If you fear not loving yourself enough, if you doubt,

Your Graph will rescue, Number prove you.

If you believe in Numbers

Your God will be an Integer.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Il Populo


Is The General Will anything to be trusted?

1) Positive. Stand up and be counted. Frank Capra movies.

2) Neutral. My kids all love Disney.

3) Poisonous. Demagogy, nativism, Talk Radio, Rush, Palin, et alia.

The first two are sentimental.

The third, if it took as much hold as the money that finances its propagation, would mean the end of America.

Actually, the third -- if I may borrow from its own past lexicon of phrases -- is the anti-Americanism it itself has been denouncing decade by decade.

This is not stupidity we're speaking of. This is engineered stupidity -- finding the 'soft spot' of insecurity, working up its anger and fear, and aiming it at political opponents not in order to prove your point, but to destroy the opponents through force.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

World At W

Beginning episodes of World At War (the Olivier-narrated series), on whose DVD was a 'making of' commentary explained by Jeremy Isaacs, the producer.

That segment talked about the 'historiography' involved in making a documentary film -- itself worth getting the whole. At one point, it highlighted contrasting interviews among Albert Speer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's sister-in-law, and an English woman who had married a German and who was living in Germany during the Nazizeit.

The interviews dealt with their reactions upon first learning of the butchery inside the concentration camps. The spread in response was noticeable, although not so melodramatic as a fiction would show it. Speer (now out of prison, years after the war) claiming regret at deliberately keeping a blind eye. Frau Bonhoeffer relating her shock that those around her back when it was happening were petrified to talk about it and sought to deny that her revelations were more than 'rumors', Allied propaganda.

The English woman -- who told her story of being asked to hide two Jewish children, but was seriously warned against doing so by confidantes, reluctantly allowed them to hide 'for two days'. They departed after their stay. Shortly after, she learned that they were picked up and shipped to the camps. In telling this, 1970s, the camera caught her hands fidgeting, turning around each other nervously. She says, looking away and down to the left, I knew then that Hitler had gotten me to commit murder.

A sequent clip was brought out by Isaacs to illustrate the kind of anecdotal vividness that shorn histories frequently ignore. The same English woman tells of riding, near the end of the war, in an exposed railway coach with an SS officer. His disillusionment is complete and he tells her that he has sought death and failed to find it in battle, always being ironically lucky to survive.

He had been part of a Waffen SS unit, a commando detachment in charge of eradicating civilians. One set of incidents haunted him enough to tell her. They had a group of villagers dig a large burial trench and were about to 'finalize' the proceedings. A man 'with long hair' among the victims came up to him and said, God is watching what you do here. He was shot before he could return to his place at the edge of the trench. A young boy stood erect, and said, Is this straight, Uncle?

The English woman and the SS officer travelled on that night, and once upon waking, she realized that she had fallen asleep with her head on his shoulder and that he had covered up her knees with his greatcoat. The next time she awoke, he was gone.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Having An Appointment In Samarra

Listening to portions of Boris Godunov, his children's doom.

Listening to its own plaints, hunched on its towel inside the carrier, the cat.

Appointments with The Doctor.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Wisdom Of Solomon

The more I know,

The more I know

How lucky I am

That I know

How lucky I am.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1) A survivor salutes the local flag.

2) Life rewards the dilettante.

3) The ideologue breathes air and speaks lead.

4) He who claims God's words has listened through the Devil's ass.


What's Left Better Unsaid

Don't say anything.



Just -- shhh.

(That's better).




A Moment Of My Time

And you're bringing this criticism of me, to me, because . . .?

Career Ladder

She mentions this 'theory' and he mentions that

to score points -- with those who want to see

people who want to score points.

In order to score points.


Close, In Town

That Portland hotel through whose thin walls could be heard

clearly the person in the next room. Not only her. Heard

clearly, too, the person on the cell phone of that person in the next room.

Though where the door to her room was remained a mystery.

Monday, December 7, 2009

HMO Svengali

Cold head. Cold room.

Dream state, cradling between sleep and what's not.

A sinus cocktail of steroids and anti-bi.

Hospital pills. Transfigured night.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Spearesques 11

That weight of worry shields me not from surprise assault

But burdens as would cuirass plate leadening the heart.

If care were gems, this manor would be a mine's hall, sparkling,

From which servitors might ferry ore, bright like stars,

Reflection from the heavens, for assay

And win fame for this house among those

Who account a man in what he can count in coin.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Those With Decidophobia

Short circuit

Flip a coin

Plead what should I do?

Drive breakneck to Mexico swigging off a bottle of Cuervo Gold


Friday, December 4, 2009

Abduction To The Imbroglio

Am being dosed with medicine they haven't even dreamed of on Fringe!

Am turning into my cerebral vertebrae and thinking neck-like thoughts

Am wanting to turn down the volume on this part of the year, but have lost the dial

Am having so many friends, will trade them on ebay

Am waking up to a power outage and having to get a new auto ignition

Am seeing Heidegger, Wagner being blasted afresh as Nazis

Am thinking a Hitlerian moustache would need me a foreskin

Am speed-dialing rabbis for thoughts

Am craving the carrot cake and ice cream defrosted when the power failed

Am resolving to dress in Leprechaun green till the end of my days


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Iceman Cometh


Burt Bacharach & Angie

Martini & Rossi

On the rocks.

Taste that stands up to ice.

32 degrees

Roadway car tires

Hum not.

The 'here', love,

Hovers at black ice.


I Don't Drink (Wine)

Nietzsche saw Carmen 20 times.

Made him 'a better philosopher'.

Duel In The Sun.
Bonnie And Clyde.

For examples, some among many.

Did they make me a better poet?



Milestones Around The Neck

May I help you, sir?

The teen asked, me in tie, near age 22.

Now, more frequently:

Do you need help getting out with that, sir?


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Will The Real 'Me' Please Stand Up

A statement for you:

'You don't know who I really am'

Which goes to you to use

Whether or not you yourself know who you are

It may be a question in the form of a dare.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Spearesques 10

Virago: What now? Three cabbages that claim to be heads.

Say business.

Inch: Is a russet for Your Grace's table.

Virago: Not a chew's value. You -- pay out my moment's worth.

Ounce: Colored pebbles quarried for Your Hi'ness' jars.

Virago: Keep for thy gargle. And you, dog? What's clutched in your paw?

Thumb: A crush of fine-smelled rose.

Virago: Polluted by the oils of your breath.

(aside) One half-man is not half a man.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hello, Columbus

Why watch Winds of War, the made-for-TV 'saga' from the 80s, a multi-hour mini-series, extended to yet more multi-hours as War and Remembrance, both titles coming from Herman Wouk best-selling novels of the time?

1) Ali McGraw. Flat-voiced as she always was, nevertheless good-looking with marvelous legs. I think her 'dark beauty' satisfied someone's idea of a passable 'Jewish look', so her success earlier as Brenda, the Jewish Princess, in Goodbye, Columbus, led to the role here as Natalie Jastrow. She works her nostrils and puts up with nobody's guff. Frankly, she's hot.

2) Robert Mitchum. Always tending toward the 'sleepy', here should have been issued 'USN regulation' bedroll as a naval captain itching for a battle command and reluctantly being thrust into the highest diplomatic backchannels to show us history as it is unfolding. Just like McGraw, it's the 'screen glamor' that works. Old, tired, working-for-the-check, Mitchum still merits a gaze.

3) History to be watched by 11 year-olds. I'll rate it PG. Should be seen before middle school.

4) History as sentimentalized 40-plus years after the fact for a then-aging War generation of people sitting on sofas and planning Vegas vacations.

5) History as ironic reflection of what we took for granted and now have begun to see slip away: heroic America, the 'good guys', the 'world-beloved', the 'savior democracy' -- all those positive epithets and likely others now worn thin, or simply buffed-up at the Museum of the Right Wing.

6) History as the prospectus of a hedge fund, the kind of 'political capital' that a certain President, recently stepped-down, was willing to spend out of his sense of entrepreneurial caveat emptor on its surface manly, but in its recesses the sunken instablility of a lost child.

7) Ali McGraw: contact (this) home. There's a place by the hearth for you!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Good Writing. The Questions.

Is it

Who notices that it is

Who admits that

Who subverts it

Who never knows it

Who 'rediscovers' it

Who profits from it

Who forgets it

Does it have a 'use value' beyond its own birthing


The Creature

It is what it is now: that

From the doctor's hand

And burps with mistake

Hates its fear; fears its hate

Meant to show beauty

That fazes onlookers

The best of the batch


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Health Precaution, Beauty Aid

Hand sanitizer.

My fingers dessicated. My palms parched -- 'working on the Alaska pipeline'.

Moisturizing lotion.

It replenishes, adds years back on. Not close. Not even.

Skin texture: 'Fairbanks'.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pendulum Swing

It's a food holiday, and someone may have over-prepared

I've heard sirens all day, it's drizzling, the markets are full

Something has to go very right soon or some

Thing is going to go very wrong, so something has

To be done just so, or the edge tips, trap slips, thing will

Plummet, taut, go strangle-dangle, slow to a hang. Amen.


Working The Suit

The one to the left of me passed.

The one to the right of me had already passed.

She bids 5 hearts; I lay down dummy.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spearesques 9

The remains of my worries should be tied at the wrists and littered,

Drayed-off to the place where go the remains to black-winged birds

Who serve their natural office, breaking and fluttering and whitening,

Upturning undersides -- transparent appetite through swift vultury.

Thus to retire from suspect looks, by the urgency of a responding corps

Eager to haul and bury and leave whatever nature wants to have,

Or -- no longer quick -- quickly by a smoke of disappearance --

By such efficiency rest attains; stress not more, I, then.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gotta Love These Guys

An inexhaustive 40-year collage of ineffective community wisdom:

Do what you like.

Never trust anyone over 30.

War is unhealthy for children and other living things.

If it feels good, do it.

Turn on, tune in, drop out.

The Silent Majority.

Back to the country.


Family values.

Government can't solve the problem; Government is the problem.

No new taxes.

The Contract With America.

No child left behind.

Compassionate conservatism.

War on terror.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The First Man

Orson Welles. Charisma at a physical distance. At a temporal distance. Charm, presence, energy, failure.

They make it sound as if he frittered his talent, recharged his genius in projects never 'salable' to solid backers. Left to peter out unfilmed, understaged, sub-financed.

He played Cagliostro, the hypnotist, the enchanter. He was one.

His later body had to store all the power they would not let him release.

Imp, charlatan, shape-shifter.



Eppur Si Muove

Willing enough to speak out in committee, one learns key behavior:

Casual politeness.

Good cheer.

Understanding of 'the task'.

Reconfirmation of each participant's position.

Helpful, clever support of what clearly is the pre-established outcome.

This despite utter opposition. Despite the sickened feeling of astonishment at such implicit social hierarchy, the flattery dance. Such forced tribal agreement. Cro-Magnon.


I (Heart) Venetia

The scene in Fellini's Casanova where Donald Sutherland, as C -- the character aged now -- a librarian in the employ of Waldstein-Wartenberk at the latter's chateau, C seen by us the audience up to now throughout the film as a pre-eminent cocksman and witty rogue, see his face, alone, candle-light reflected. Candle-light extinguishing.

Poorly remembering this. The residual loneliness, though. Thus, memoir.

Virtually, Communication

The nearest analog to online chat:

Walking 30 awkward steps in leg braces

To revitalize legs damaged by polio.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Electric Off

Other people's talk: inane and bored.

Voice inside the head: the caged 'me'.

Rare ambient sound outside

Snow thuds from a branch

Prayer to the waning light, up.

Down, a crow's mock sound.

Without a clock, but like one

The earth hour moves to dark


Monday, November 16, 2009

Sick Day

Thermometers registering me high today.

Fahrenheit up from the usual low 'corpse' readings that no doctors ever believe.

Three things from this illusory 'fever':

1) The word 'Edinburgh' appeared in the chance meanderings of the ceiling putty.

2) Reading about Gorky during 1917, his political good sense utterly lost upon that time, a man of letters judging the mob responses to Petrograd lawlessness. Then noting per chance an article in the newspaper about the release of Sarah Palin's book -- as a possible precursor for further political power.


3) Memory of head lights seen through glass -- home window? stationary car window? -- headlights moving in rain, feeling myself very young, younger than school age.

Society is vulnerable as a child.

The politics of this time pinprick stability like a fever.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Romantic So-And-So

Tomorrow evening,

driving home in the predicted rain about 10 pm,

my car playlist at 'heart' volume:

Windmills Of Your Mind
Save Your Love For Me (Melissa Morgan)
You Turned The Tables On Me (Anita O'Day)
Isn't It A Pity? (Zoot Sims)
How Long Has This Been Going On? (Julie London)

Tess's Torch Song (Dinah Shore)
Until . . . (The Brodsky Quartet [and Sting])
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? (Irene Atman)
Two For The Road (Greta Matassa)
My One And Only Love (Art Tatum and Ben Webster)


The Devil's In The Small Print

Most difficult things I've tried to read? For differing reasons (sublime to ridiculous):

Spinoza, at (my) age 14

Derrida, now

Statutory law

Teach Yourself Arabic

Computer instruction manuals


Medical Advice Line

Walking on volcanic rocks in the throat.

Surfing the crest of the waves from the nose.

Sitting still in the module waiting for blast-off: 10 days - 9 - 8 -7 . . . when the lean, healthy body performs again cleverly like the ferret it is.

Therein The Word Therein

The point at which you realize that learning a foreign language is learning your own language.

When you find how arbitrary your way of relating to reality is.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

'Proud Dad Of A URI'

Upper Respiratory Infection, that is.

It's still, it runs deep, and it's watery.

A man's gotta 'take ownership of' his cold.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Riff On A Russian

Lines from Anna Akhmatova, 1913:

So many requests, always, from a lover!
None when they fall out of love.
I'm glad the water does not move
Under the colourless ice of the river.

By which she may mean it's good no longer to be plagued by the requests.

By which she may mean it's good to be forgetting what were welcome requests.

Aren't such requests always sweet, even coming like a hammer?

Isn't the taste even of angry departure something you refuse to rinse your mouth of?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spearesques 8


Pondering prole I am, am I?

Yes, if truth be seen emerging bright

From such prisons as I walk half-crouched

And find rest by bending knee each hour.

The sign reads Stoop and firm's that syllable.

A tall man, sure, who doesn't show obeisance in dreams

Or always fear the knout for not so doing.

Democratic Man! Sing democratic man --

The hierarchy's in the hand that holds the willow

Or the one beyond with birch.


Royce Hall

Drowsy and drizzly. Curved stairs.

Stairwells well-deep in my attempts

At reading Sophocles. At Shakespeare.

Lear and Cordelia. Antigone, Rex.

My mocassin grinds at tobacco stubs

Which custodians curse into the blind night.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tehuantepec, Revisited

Wallace Stevens, his 1923 Harmonium.

When 'Sea Surface Full Of Clouds' measures-off a visual re-apprehension over 5 sections in four pages.

Phrases travel thus, in parallels among the sections, showing interaction between the water and the viewer's interpretation:

From rosy chocolate and gilt umbrellas
To chop-house chocolate and sham umbrellas;
Further, in continuing parallel, to porcelain chocolate and pied umbrellas.
Then, to musky chocolate and frail umbrellas,
Finally Chinese chocolate and large umbrellas.

Poaching on beauty carries a purgatorial sentence. Read the entire poem, of course. Absorb it. The point is that such writing, such witnessing, isn't merely a rich and eccentric description. Not just, no.


No one I've ever known in my widest acquaintance had, or had ancestral memory of, yachting off Mexico during the Harding era. Stevens had such access and likely a social orientation to match. But what he's presenting isn't a position in society, still less a hedonistic gloating, the value of the scene in USD.

His aesthetic balance gets defined. It's not a vulgar having or enjoying that's at stake. It's the human imagining. He's able to attain literal -- not allegorical -- visions. And what's arrived at and held onto is a reality, a situating of oneself in the moment that shifts around, as all moments do.

If this were music, we'd understand the modulations.

We compose our world.


Brain Gaps For 500, Alex

This 'memory thing'.

Newspaper Asimov quiz.

Varying 'chase' films, this one q about 2 prisoners chained together escaping prison.

Instantly could name the stars: Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis. Prestige BW from the late 50s.

For the life of me couldn't come up with the name of the movie.

Dih . . . dih . . . dih. Nothing beyond that, as though I had forgotten the word pencil.

Dih . . . deadly? No. Dih . . . damn? Not at all. As though I were in need of speech therapy.

Later, after I had consigned the problem to mental 'deep search', after a power nap, the rhythm came to me:

Dah-DAH-dah-dah. Within split seconds after that: The Defiant Ones.


'Lithe And Fierce, Like A Tiger'

Cats, like boxers and football linemen, look low, watch for foot movement and the weight-shift.

Eyes lie.


Chutzpah, Universe Style

The 'Theory of Everything'?

Which sounds like a bold, optimistic 'shot' by a systems-oriented mathematician.

A label so big it's overpoweringly fit for the lit stage of stand-up comedy.

That individuals of our species can devise a name, such as 'The T of E', with a straight face might give us hope that there is indeed an 'upside' to what year-by-year slides dirtward closer and closer.

Could be careerism, useful as a big notch in a resume, in one's own self-esteem. Could have the heft of achievement of a Fabergé egg, true creation, but have little commensurate effect, except on practitioners and collectors.

Remember: This is the same species that finds it hard even to tie a shoe without self-interested hurry, grumbling sloth, incompetence, or anger.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Fit Crit Of Brit Lit

Philip Larkin. His poem Broadcast.

One imagining another, distant, being present, anonymously as part of audience at a musical concert, Royals in attendance, played out over radio airwaves.

Imagining her fallen glove, her conservative shoes. Trying to make out the sound of her hands,
tiny in all that air, among the rush of applause.

Magnificently lonely.



If a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush, will it get cocky?

If life is short, why does the day drag on?

If silence is golden, what sound does blindness make?

If a penny saved is a penny earned, how do I get them in the first place?

If 'He's got the whole world in His hands', where does He put his feet?

If haste makes waste, why don't I shit more on busy days?


Friday, November 6, 2009

Cognito Ergo Dumb

Just in case the Nobel Committee is listening in:

In all humility I think I deserve recognition just for being me.

If not a medallion and 10,000 USD,

Perhaps a breastful of old Soviet medals commemorating service in WWII?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

To The Forces That Have Birthed Me And Kept Me Living This Long

A 'thank-you' to them.

For giving me this past hour reading Northrop Frye quoting Italo Calvino and having them both make sense of finding, amidst the difficulty of such finding, the place where literature vibrates between me and what's not-me.

Fragile Crockery

If what I fear about the politics were true

That it were not its rough-and-tumble character or that labyrinth of its institutions, but something deep, deeper- lodged, past the shadow of the coccyx, tucked inside the birth canal, in the alpha and beta of its AGCT, coded genetically, irreparably --

If it were that that drives the conflict of its reason to the serial, mad, self-negating conclusions

Again and heavier mounting again that push that strife to wring out to tear the need right out of itself by peeling back the skin and breaking each finger in the hand

To retaliate for not possessing the One answer that would stop the pain of its own committing -- if that were true:

I'd break like a plate.



1) To the contrary, women still 'wash that man' right into their hair.

2) Then, why not 'find and you shall seek'?

3) I have -- on occasion -- been turned 'outside-in'

4) The feng-shui of this room: upside down.


TV 'Ghost' Guest Geist

Al Capp

Hans Conreid

Selma Diamond

Jack and Reiko Douglas

Ernie Kovacs

Henry Morgan

Tony Randall

William Redfield

Monte Rock III


Baby. Bathwater.

And the fact that pop culture is 'democratic' and ephemeral and undercuts traditional canons supported by 'hegemonic' authority structures is real subversion because . . .?


Hard-Learned Lessons

Jack Paar: I kid you not.

Johnny Carson: May an unclean yak sit on your breakfast.

Steve Allen: Shmock! Shmock!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Gone, Man

Near home. 10 p.m.

Art Pepper lips All The Things You Are.

Ambulance at stop sign. Patient propped inside against the cab, facing me.

Left, it turns, no siren, no speed,
a false scare, just a dry run, off-off-Broadway.

3000 miles from Broadway

Out-of-town run.


Multi-cultural Arm's Length

Paris is only 140 miles closer to here than Pyongyang.

Where am I?

(This isn't a riddle; it's shellshock!)

(In air miles, 5150 vs. 5010!)


Intertextual Riffs

'In the morning I don't want to know where I'll be in the afternoon.' But in the afternoon, I'll know exactly where I've been.

'A dead writer has no ego' . . . and a live reader dances upon its grave.

'Where would you be if you left all your troubles behind?' Beating my Maker in a friendly game of checkers and having Her unbegrudgingly foot the cost of the champagne.

(Credit nothingprofound's blog out of context: pieces of life for the savvy, clean launching points, me for the extensions.)



1980: Shocked, Taken aback

1980s: Distanced, Disempowered

1990s: Misrepresented, Assailed

2000 - 2008: Robbed, Stunned, Outraged


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mottoes, Expansions

1) 'Fast' = bad, 'slow' = good

2) Don't save time, lose yourself in time.



Saturday, October 31, 2009

Restraining Order

Paris Hilton.

Every time she calls.

How many times I have to say it:

I don't do those things.


Spearesques 7

The core of it? Withdraw your hand and ask my pulse

Ignore the drop it feels at plunging such a deep chasm?

Bodies snap as they tumble, granite tosses them:

So say engineers of violence. Ask science why hearts break --

They smash against deaf other hearts.

My Gant In Your Face!

You've dishonored me and my literary studies!

Though I respect numeracy as much as any technophage on this planet,

Sensitivity to the 'aesthetic' of reading and of writing

Double-layers thinking over feeling, feeling over thinking:

The 'stereoptics' of a full humanity.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

With A Sistine Swagger

A man of some connotation, this, rough meat:

The sine qua non of me, the body.

On what head otherwise to stretch the balaclava

With what fist to grip the stick to break the glass

How at the same time lie at the Inn of the Open Sky

Expecting with lame hand the swooping-in Finger

Morning Stop, Morning Start

Coffee-house women

So clean their function, to punch up your mood

Social women and so pretty

An old man seems a suitor

Awakes to put the question.

They infuse, they steam, they perk.

Political 'Science'

A minority.

Being on a thin branch

When the strong wind

Wants to uproot the whole tree.

Even here.

Even in the Land of the Free.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


If we grow by our mistakes

There's never been an hour I've wasted.

If we 'waste not, want not',

Then I want for nothing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mortar Board

Why not get a mind

Before they ask you to lose it?

The Long Hello

Sink into reading

Not like quicksand

Not like sleep

Like loss of self in orgasm

Though not an 'obliteration in pleasure'

But 'rebirth in understanding'.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spearesques 6

Velli: Odd codpiece, sirrah!

Erasmo: More better said a frontispiece.

Velli: You plough not, then, from within, the virgin earth?

Erasmo: If minds were soil, a bounteous crop result.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This Land Is 'Our' Land

30 percent of America is so sectarian ('How sectarian is it?) -- it's so sectarian that it wants my mouth shut and my genitals kept waiting for a rainy day, at 98.6 degrees in unobtrusive cotton.

Lawn mowed. DIY. Children at mental age 8 until marriage. Thoughts so repressed that repression itself seems like a love-in.

The Village Elder says: Hate thyself without knowing it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Functional Employee

So she says It's going to rain.

Then, In two weeks I'm going to Mexico.

Finally, she says, I'm menstruating.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spearesques 5

Hearts, were they ears listening utmost, hear worst,

And worse, straining to catch whate'er the breezes blow, go deaf.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Watch The Baton You're Swinging, Sir!

Did I make the point yet.

Has it appeared here.

Did my lips suggest.

A foray go in the direction of.

That it should be clear that.

Davy Crockett humor, not what it is.

Should one consider that proposition.

Misshapen as Richard III's backbone come the words from.

Entertainment, no, sir.

That Rush Limbaugh is just 5 'mother-may-I' steps from the Brown Shirts

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spearesques 4

What she tears up grew from her head.

She deracinates,

And from the ditches cut along her arm

Disrange the irrigations meant for fertile mind.

Spearesques 3

All sense lost from mind, all mind lost to sense

A toad in whose own amphibious ejaculate seems must seek the world

Its sustenance from marine bounty.

Loneliness Of A Long Distance Word Guy

More market for me

To polka in a jock strap and pasties

Than for my writing

Spearesques 2


Between earth's bread and sky's
Lie I to be eaten

True to be taken as a purgative
That trusting her will clear your bond

Once taken, twice corrupted

What, ho?
What? 'Ho'?

Spearesques 1

This glass in hand holds absence of reflection.

Moving tongue and queried eye, razored cheek to else belong.

What should be echo is soundless.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Side Pocket

The only 8-balls I've known have not had any magic about them that you'd want.

(I try to race ahead of any that I see).

Nothing To Be Done

Beckett On Film.

The difference between theater and cinema.

These films, done by a dozen (or two dozen?) directors.

Plays, originally. Films now. No 'filmic' director would experiment so; these tried holding true to drama, which is to say, words and gesture and tradition of thematic depth.

Exploration, sure, not just 'stage'.

Absences, sure, audience and players years and miles apart.

Intellectual edge.

Beckett's humor. Oppressive. Pathetic. A wry reality dressed down.

Hidden Agenda


Johnny Mercer's "Midnight Sun".

Ira Gershwin's "How Long Has This Been Going On?".

Each song, two lovers getting together.

Sweet findings. Love songs, two getting together.

The verbal pitch of the findings: "Each star its own Aurora Borealis, suddenly you held me tight/I could see the Midnight Sun"; and "There were chills up my spine/And some thrills I can't define".


The point of the findings: "Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice, warmer than a summer night"; and "Kiss me twice, then once more/That makes thrice, let's make it four".


Monday, October 12, 2009

Perspectival Event

Indigenous Peoples' Day: truly Columbus Day and vice versa?

What a straw in the wind seems political effort against the cliffs of tradition.

All rocks are meant to stand. Until erosion.

Classical Balance, American Style

Rocket attack, west.
Rocket attack, east.

A blonde, a red.
Brunette, brunette.

100 proof in an hour.
80 proof in 48 minutes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gullible's Bunions

Fitly riding an eohippus, at my height.

Messaging my gums with the tail of a stegosaur, gingivitically sound.

Bac spore in the belly of a prehist insect saved in amber: talisman of health held in a chain around my neck.


The face of Queequeg.

The left arm of a Yakuza.

Both legs pictorially dangling ropes of spice from Jezreel.

In The Rotation

Currently, for those with one whit of interest:

Collected Poems: Phillip Larkin
The Great Code: Northrup Frye
A People's Tragedy: Orlando Figes

Cultural Amnesia: Clive James
Selected Poems: Anna Akhmatova
An Empire Of Their Own: Neil Gabler

War And Peace: Leo Tolstoy

Some of these are quite newly added, some around and pecked at/set down/resurgent for as long as almost 3 years. All of the above so fascinating as to dwarf the random occurrences of daily life which often succeed only when they're survived.

These works of art live.


The thin metal fork in the metal basin of the work room.

It has lain there since Spring.

It's been just there.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tube Tying


You've got to have seen a lot of it in order to know you shouldn't have seen it at all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

'Nam' And The Choler It Rises

The Right hates the Left because the Right sees how right the Left is in charging the USA with no longer being right.

The Left hates the Right because the Left sees how right the Right is in charging the USA with no longer being The Power.

The USA doesn't know what it is if not the world's moral corrective.

Unpredictable Predictabilites

My enthusiasm for women with limps.

There was also a hyper-femininely-dressed woman work brought to me a few times a week whose perfume perfectly connected to her natural scent, and she was deaf.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Festoons Of Nitre Comin' My Way

This is Day 14 of the Death Cold, the Andromeda Strain, the Satan Bug -- whatever the Center For Disease Control winds up calling it somewhere on a back-link of an obscure medical website no longer useful as public caution but safe place enough to risk shock data one is 'responsible' for.

It lives.

It's played with my larynx, my uvula, my nasal lining, and is squeezing the walls of my pulmones, tickling my bronchii.

I sometimes wail to the heavens for pity, but the gurgle hardly leaves my crusted lips before a flash of sunlight teases the blinds long enough to heat the room and contrast its interior damp.

Friday, September 25, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Print



said the headline, and although I don't know who Hailey is, I'm certain that like any Hailey, she did it for some john.

The photo showed a woman accompanied by either a) Jon, or b) a plastic surgeon. That man looked a great deal like the actor Peter Coyote circa 1987.

It makes one feel more 'tuned in with the world', more 'part of the greater community', eh wot?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Casting A Net

Swift? Hardly anything, nor will there be done.

Schiller. An opening project?

Foreign language grand opera. A matter of breaking down resistance in order to spend much of a life bathing in its reputed glories.

Rabelais. Henry Miller. "In The Mood". "Four Or Five Times". Am I? Certainly couldn't.

I Blink, Therefore I Am

Pragmatists see mistakes as a needed part of progress, and archive them.

Existentialists progress by concentrating on mistakes, and keeping light on them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Let's Turn The Joke Around This Way

Every time a selection plays from the canon of Great American Songbook plays,

I reach for a Scotch.

Back To The Future

Still incredulous finding out that Theodore Roosevelt flossed his teeth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Would You Like Some Breakfast With That?

Starbucks, this morning.

Just left the premises when a sneezing fit from my (now) fifth day of cold

Had me herky-jerking the Venti drip,

Its hot, black liquid heaving into the air

Through the sip spout

Like salt water expelled from the hump of a narwhal.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Secondary, Tertiary, Elaboration

Waking up with:

C'est moi qui vive

Did I dream that in French or translate that existentiality in half-sleep?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Excuse Me, I Gotta Get This

Silver cell phone, palm-fit, elegant as a cigarette lighter.

All I need is a pencil-thin mustache, dinner jacket, and the ambiance of a 40s nightclub staffed with a small orchestra discharging rhumba rhythm.

What's this? My pants are ringing.

A Size Is A Size Is A Size

I like large ones, yes.

I like, also, small ones.

I like gigantic ones, really.

But I'm very partial to the ones that barely show themselves.

Quick Change Artistry

The bottom drops out at a moment's notice

Isn't that part of a bottom's definition?

The world changes in a snap

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Can't Go Home Again

Not seedy, but brittle, fragile, held in place with more than just easy care. Hemmed in by

effect of matured landscaping and the greater vehicular traffic at the surround. By the first

adult perspective, not having the open-edges youth leaves unnoted.

Neither Here Nor There

In no one place

Possessor of many, of lots

Deedless, the traveller.


The only bad thing about trips is the travel.


There's always a camp for us within building distance.

One's only an angry look, a bad mood, a whistle away.


This thought: whatever she's selling I'll buy two.

This thought: pet animals born now will outlive me.


Our intuition has held for a long time the nothing that is a something.

Our empiricism has begun to show us that vast something that is nothing.

Great debunkers we are, and at once great spiritual adventurers --

Being two is both a feather in our cap and a backhanded compliment.

The 80 Degree Apartment

My alabaster skin unsure of its place in t-shirt and shorts and mocassins.

Leg swung over the couch arm: "got to cool my crotch off."


The Chumash word for 'Malibu' seems cognate to 'humanity's humility' or some such portmanteau.

It means "where the surf sounds loudly".